Stroke: Symptoms and Survival

David Kalosky wants everyone to know that you can suffer a stroke without “one iota of pain.”

Kalosky, an electrical engineer for Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Avondale, was home on Christmas vacation, watching television and relaxing, when he suddenly realized the right side of his body wouldn’t move. He called out to his wife, Mickey, “I think I’ve had a stroke.”

Mickey Kalosky drove her husband straight to West Jefferson Medical Center, where he entered the Emergency Room. Sitting in the ER, Kalosky recalls being amazed that, no matter how hard he willed it, he couldn’t wiggle his toes or move his fingers.

As soon as he told the ER personnel he thought he had had a stroke, doctors, nurses and technicians sprang into action, Kalosky says, administering diagnostic tests, taking his vital signs and asking about his medical history.

Right away, Kalosky was admitted to West Jefferson’s Stroke Unit, where Dr. Walter Truax of Culicchia Neurological Clinic examined him. “I still couldn’t move my side, and my speech was slightly slurred,” Kalosky recalls. “I didn’t really feel afraid, just bewildered.”

Kalosky’s goal was to be home for Christmas Eve, and he met that goal. He credits his recovery to the excellent care he got at the Stroke Unit, where nurses monitored his progress continuously.  Kalosky suffers from high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke, but tests failed to pinpoint the exact cause of his stroke.

Kalosky had five weeks of physical and occupational rehabilitation at West Jefferson. “They really made me work hard,” he says. He had regular visits with Dr. Truax as well.

Kalosky declares himself 98% back to normal, with just some slight difficulty in solving analytical problems. He’s grateful that he recognized right away that he had had a stroke, and that his wife took him quickly to the E.R.. When stroke occurs, every minute’s delay can mean devastating health problems and side effects. His advice to anyone who asks is to always act promptly if you even suspect a stroke. He did, and he has lived to be grateful for it.